You Can't Teach a Old Dog New Tricks

You Can't Teach a Old Dog New Tricks

April 2020

Written by: Natalie Forward, Managing Director, Sr. Talent Strategist

We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, right? 

It’s hard to admit – but I seem to be  closer to an “old dog” these days and the problem with that title – other than the obvious -is that this Pandemic has forced all of us to learn some “new tricks”. Between you and me I was exceptionally satisfied with the tricks I had perfected prior to March 2020.

But here we are – all of us – finding ourselves needing to learn new skills – rapidly – in order to keep our businesses moving forward. On the outside it may look like I’m a confident, extroverted, up for anything business professional who “never lets you see me sweat.” 

But the truth is… I’m often scared to try new things.  Things like skiing down a mountain, or driving in the rain at night, telling a potential client that they CAN’T ask that question in an interview or writing a business blog.  This fear often leads to procrastination or avoidance or denial.  And Those qualities certainly don’t help us move our businesses forward.

Many of us have been thrown into Zoom Calls and Video Conferencing, New Products to offer and Marketing Messages to memorize, Unknown Suppliers to order from, Updated processes to follow, and how and when to wear Masks and Gloves  - the list of new tricks goes on and on and on.  It’s exhausting and scary.    

So how do we gain confidence in this world where everything feels new and uncertain? We simply try and try again until we get it right.  Just like we did when we were “puppies”.  And eventually those new activities become habits and habits become routines and routines lead to confidence and expertise. 

I saw a sign recently – don’t know the author so I can’t give them credit – but it said

“Be Brave Enough to be Bad at Something New”. 

And that made this "old dog" feel a little better.